Pumpkin Spice Granola

Who else is still on a pumpkin kick? You know I am!

Y’all know I love me some granola, and if you haven’t checked out my other granola recipes, you can find them linked below:

Maple-Almond Granola

Almond Joy Granola

BUT since it’s pumpkin season, I made my version of pumpkin spice granola and honestly–it’s my favorite homemade granola recipe yet! I hope y’all love it as much as I do! Make sure you tag me in all of your creations: @livebetterwithkatdetter

Fun Pumpkin Facts: 
Did you know that pumpkin can be used to replace butter or oil in baked goods? You heard me right!
Subbing pumpkin for butter in a recipe: For 1 cup of butter, use 3/4 cup of PURE pumpkin puree
Subbing pumpkin for oil in a recipe: For 1 cup of oil, use 1 cup of PURE pumpkin puree (1:1 ratio)

Pumpkin is also high in fiber which many Americans do not consume enough of daily. Fiber aids in digestion, promotes heart health, and controls blood sugars. Make your “treats” more nourishing by using pumpkin!

Other ways to incorporate pumpkin:
Add pumpkin puree to Greek yogurt with a drizzle of honey
Make pumpkin muffins or scones
Mix 1-2 Tablespoons into coffee with 1 teaspoon of maple syrup
Make a savory sauce with pumpkin + light cream + Parmesan cheese
Combine pumpkin + ricotta cheese + herbs + spices and use as a filling for lasagna
Make a pumpkin smoothie

Okay, now onto the granola!

IMG-4944

 

Pumpkin Spice Granola

  • Servings: 6 servings
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

2 cups old fashioned oats
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp salt
1 T chia seeds or ground flax
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/8-1/4 cup maple syrup (depending on how sweet ya like it!)
1/2 can PURE pumpkin 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 F.
  2. Mix oats, spices and chia/flax together. In a saucepan, heat coconut oil, maple syrup and pumpkin until melted and combined together.
  3. Mix pumpkin mixture into oats.
  4. Once well incorporated, add to a parchment paper lined baking dish.
  5. For granola clusters, spread granola evenly and firmly pack oat mixture onto baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes, rotating pan halfway through. Allow granola mixture to cool for an hour, then break into chunks.
    **NOTE: If granola is too moist, bake for an additional 10-20 minutes at 200 F to take out excess moisture.
  7. Enjoy on a top of yogurt, in a smoothie bowl, or plain!
  8. Additional/optional add ons once granola is cooled:
    Dark chocolate chips/chunks
    Pumpkin seeds
    Raisins
    Dried cranberries
    Freeze dried fruit

 

What other fall recipes would you like me to try? Let me know in the comments here or on my social media accounts!

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN
Registered Dietitian
Follow me on social media!
@livebetterwithkatdetter

Triple Berry Cobbler (Refined Sugar & Flour FREE)

It’s berry season! Which means strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries are typically on sale at the grocery store every.single.week and this makes me very happy!

IMG-3782

In the hot summer months, I have the luxury of owning blueberry bushes–so I can stock up on a bunch for the year! However, around this time every year, my frozen blueberry stash depletes…and I have to buy frozen or fresh at the grocery store. Luckily for me they’ve been on sale lately!

Berries are rich in antioxidants which battle the “free radicals” in the body to fight off the development of inflammation + chronic disease. Berries are also a good source of polyphenols (a naturally occurring chemical found in plants)–more specifically anthocyanins (blue/purple pigmentation in plants), micro nutrients and fiber. Studies have shown that these components are associated with improved cardiovascular health with “improved LDL oxidation, lipid peroxidation, total plasma antioxidant capacity, dyslipidemia, and glucose metabolism”. 1

There are endless ways to enjoy berries!

  • Fruit Salad
  • Homemade Fruit Salsa served with Cinnamon Pita Chips
  • Mixed Berry Smoothie
  • Mixed Berry Yogurt Parfait
  • Berries to top off an Ice Cream Sundae for dessert
  • Mixed Greens Salad + Berries
  • Berry Muffins
  • Berry Pancakes/Waffles (adding berries to the batter)
  • Banana-Berry Oatmeal 
  • Add on top of cereal
  • Eat on its own!

While berries are very enjoyable on their own, I love adding them to baked goods! Below you will find my refined sugar FREE Triple Berry Cobbler using only 3 Tablespoons of maple syrup in the whole.entire.thing to sweeten it up! Use whatever berry combination you like–I used strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries. This will be the PERFECT patriotic dessert for Independence Day coming up!

  • Other Berry Options:
    • Raspberries
    • Acai Berries
    • Boysenberry
    • Elderberry
    • Black Raspberry
    • Mulberry

 

Triple Berry Cobbler

  • Servings: 8 servings
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

Filling:

  • 3.5 cups Berries of choice (I used strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries)
  • 3 Tablespoons Cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoons PURE Maple Syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice

Crumble Topping:

  • 1/2 cup Walnuts
  • 1/2 cup Almonds
  • 3 Tablespoons Flax Seed, ground
  • 3 Tablespoons Coconut Flakes, unsweetened
  • 1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 cup Coconut Oil, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1  teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Wash and chop strawberries. Rinse blueberries and blackberries. Add berries to a medium sized mixing bowl.
  3. Add cornstarch, maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla extract and lemon juice to berries. Stir to combine well.
  4. Add berry filling to a greased baking dish. Set aside.
  5. In a high powered blender, add in all the crumble topping ingredients and blend until “crumbly” texture.
  6. Sprinkle crumble topping on top of berry filling. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes or until berries are bubbly.
  7. Allow to cool for at least 45 minutes to allow juices to thicken.
  8. Serve as is, with some vanilla ice cream, or whipped topping!

 

What are your favorite ways to enjoy berries?? Let me know!

 

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian

Follow me on social media!

@livebetterwithkatdetter

References:
  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3068482/

The Sugar Debate

Sugar is such a controversial topic not just between fellow dietitians but also within the general public.

IMG-3352

You have the individuals who debate “sugar is sugar, whether it comes from a starchy vegetable or a piece of cake”, the individuals who say “sugar is fine in moderation”, and lastly you have the individuals who refute with “sugar is bad, our bodies need to be in ketosis and we can’t get there if we eat sugar”

Yes, I know these illustrations are pretty dramatic, but I hear these things on a daily basis.  Hopefully after reading my take on added sugars, you’ll have a better understanding of why our diets should not exceed the daily recommendations of added sugars.

What does sugar do to the body?

The obvious answer is that the more sugar you consume, the greater the risk you may develop type II diabetes (or insulin resistance), obesity (primarily an increase in visceral fat), cancer (due to increased inflammation) and elevated triglycerides (which increase the risk of heart attack and stroke).

For general health and wellbeing, in short, added sugar provides simple carbohydrates and calories, but no nutritional benefits. Our bodies do not need added sugars to survive because there is an abundance of plants available that can provide us with complex carbohydrates and fiber we need for metabolism and digestion.

 

What are added sugars?

Essentially, added sugars are syrups or sweeteners that are added to a food item during production or preparation. These do not include the sugars naturally occurring in fruits and dairy products.

Luckily, the American Heart Association (AHA, http://www.heart.org, 2019) has come up with a liberal limit recommendation to help control our sugar consumption. For men, it is recommended that you not exceed 36 grams of added sugar daily (an equivalence of 9 teaspoons). Women, on the other hand, are advised to not exceed 25 grams of added sugar daily (an equivalence to 6 teaspoons).

What are sources of added sugars?

Here is a list of popular added sugars found on the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website:

  • anhydrous dextrose
  • brown sugar
  • confectioner’s powdered sugar
  • corn syrup
  • corn syrup solids
  • dextrose
  • fructose
  • high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
  • honey
  • invert sugar
  • lactose
  • malt syrup
  • maltose
  • maple syrup
  • molasses
  • nectars (e.g., peach nectar, pear nectar)
  • pancake syrup
  • raw sugar
  • sucrose
  • sugar
  • white granulated sugar

 

According to the USDA (Choose MyPlate, 2019), the most popular food items that contain added sugars include (but are not limited to):

  • regular soft drinks, energy drinks, and sports drinks
  • candy
  • cakes
  • cookies
  • pies and cobblers
  • sweet rolls, pastries, and donuts
  • fruit drinks (fruit punch)
  • dairy desserts, such as ice cream

Those items may seem like a no-brainer for you…but what about other items that are “deemed” healthy but contain copious amounts of sugar?

 

Here are some packaged foods that contain hidden sugars:

  • breads
  • pasta/pizza sauces
  • condiments such as BBQ sauce, ketchup, teriyaki sauce, etc
  • granola/granola bars
  • cereal (even the “healthy” cereals)
  • flavored oatmeal
  • flavored yogurt
  • nut/soy milks
  • canned foods
  • frozen foods

I call these “hidden sugars” because oftentimes we associate these food items as being “healthy” and do not check the food label. Yogurt (specifically Greek yogurt) is a great source of protein and I encourage many of my clients to choose this for snacks, however, many of the flavored yogurts are packing 15+ grams of added sugar in one serving…that is over half of the recommendation for both men and women!

Choosing the plain yogurts are a smarter option because you can top with fresh fruit to obtain naturally occurring sugars and plenty of fiber to aid in digestion and help you feel satisfied.

Reading the nutrition label for added sugars:

Luckily, most nutrition labels specifically state “added sugars” underneath carbohydrates on the food label, so it is easy for us to determine whether or not that is a smart option for our bodies.

img-3725.jpg

As you can see in the protein bar above, there are 15 total grams of sugar, but of those sugars, 0 grams are added sugars…this means that all of the sugar in this protein bar is found naturally within the ingredients.

The Controversy:

The controversy many registered dietitians, health professionals, and health promoters alike run into is “banning” sugar and calling sugar “bad”.  You have some professionals who say to honor your sugar cravings and don’t eliminate foods from you diet…you have other professionals who understand how detrimental sugar is for the body and tell you not to ever eat it…so what is the answer?

In my professional and personal opinion, I think it is clear through research that added sugars should definitely be limited or not consumed at all…however, part of life is enjoying the simple things like cake on your birthday or monthly ice cream dates with your spouse.

Over the past year, I have really focused on choosing more whole, plant based food items, ultimately cutting wayyyy down on my added sugar intake. I am also very strict when buying products and choose items that contain less than 5 grams of added sugars per serving (or none at all). Since I have been more conscious of that, my body feels better, my clothes fit better, and my mind is clearer.

I wish I  could say “eat sugar in moderation”, but the problem with that is my moderation may look different than someone else’s moderation…to me, moderation is special occasions, holidays, anniversaries, once a month, sparingly…but to others, moderation may mean once a day…we do not need to be eating cake and m&m’s every day.

My advice to you is to truly choose to eat plant based, whole foods as your primary source of nutrition and on occasion, it is totally fine to indulge in a cookie or piece of cheesecake. There are plenty of ways to naturally sweeten your food and not feel deprived—>but that is a topic for another day 🙂

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Follow me on social media!

 @livebetterwithkatdetter

 

 

References:
  1. http://www.heart.org. (2019). Sugar 101. [online] Available at: https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/sugar/sugar-101 [Accessed 20 May 2019].
  2. Choose MyPlate. (2019). What are added sugars?. [online] Available at: https://www.choosemyplate.gov/what-are-added-sugars [Accessed 20 May 2019].

 

 

ALMOND JOY Granola

It’s been a hot minute since I made homemade granola! Who else loves a good crunch with a yogurt parfait or on-top of a smoothie bowl? This girl does!

IMG_3807

Granola oftentimes gets a bad rap because many store bought ones are high in fat, calories, and sugar. While all of that is true, you can make granola in the luxury of your own home CHEAPER than you can buy it and you can make it more nutrient dense!

In this recipe, I use old fashioned oats (complex carb + soluble fiber), chia seeds (rich in omega 3 fatty acids + fiber), whole almonds (healthy fat + protein), and dark chocolate (antioxidant) as the base. Some other additives: maple syrup (only 2 tablespoons for the whole batch), unsweetened coconut flakes, stevia sweetened chocolate chips, and coconut oil. Find full FREE printable recipe down below!

NOTE: If you like things a little sweeter, feel free to bump up the maple syrup to 1/4 cup instead of 2-3 tablespoons.

IMG_3804

 

ALMOND JOY Granola

  • Servings: 8 servings
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup whole almonds
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted + cooled
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2-3 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips ( I like using stevia sweetened )

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. In a bowl, mix oats, chia seeds, almonds, cocoa powder and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix melted coconut oil, vanilla, and maple syrup.
  4. Combine dry ingredients with wet ingredients and mix well.
  5. Pour mixture on to a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes, stirring granola halfway through.
  6. Add in coconut and chocolate chips and bake for additional 5 minutes.
  7. Allow granola to cool for 15 minutes and store in air tight container up to a week.
  8. Enjoy with some mixed berries + yogurt, on top of a smoothie bowl, with milk, or plain!

 

I hope you all enjoy this quick and easy granola recipe!  Add it to your meal prep for breakfast on the go!

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian

Follow me on social media!

@livebetterwithkatdetter

#livebetterwithkatdetter

Black Bean Brownies

Black beans in brownies?? YES!

This trend has been around for a few years now. The first time I made black bean brownies was in 2015…I was getting ready to pack up my car and move to California to attend Loma Linda University to become a registered dietitian.  Before I left for school, I made my family a special treat…and I didn’t tell them what was in it…

Now, I am going to give you a little background on my childhood…when I was a little girl, maybe 6 or 7, I LOVED “playing” in my mom’s kitchen experimenting with foods…that could be why I decided to become a dietitian and do recipe development professionally!

I can remember making a jello dessert and putting what I thought was orange zest in it for a little extra flavor…turns out I was zesting too much and ended up putting the orange peeling in it instead…and my brothers never let me forget it! They’re always kind of afraid to try new foods I make despite the fact that I’ve gotten wayyyyy better at recipe development.

Back to before I moved away, I made a special dessert for my last night in North Carolina…I made black bean brownies. After everyone took a bite and decided they tasted good, I had them guess what they thought was in it…no one knew!

“Black beans!” Course, we grew up eating beans so my brothers weren’t too put off…but my sister-in-law was like “Ew, gross” and decided they were not fit to eat. However, everyone else LOVED them, and you will to!

 

I’ve adapted my recipe over the years. Today I am using black beans and sweet potato in this recipe and I guarantee you will love it! Fudgey, smooth, and perfect for a warm, brownie sundae!

Black Bean Brownies

  • Servings: 16 squares
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

1 can black beans

1/2 c almond flour

1/2 c sweet potato

1/2 c unsweetened apple sauce

1/4+ 2 tbs maple syrup

2 T cocoa powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 T vanilla

1/2 c dark chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Drain and rinse black beans very well.
  3. Add to high powered blender or food processor.
  4. Add almond flour, sweet potato, unsweetened applesauce, maple syrup, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and vanilla to blender/food processor.
  5. Blend until smooth.
  6. Add to mixing bowl and fold in chocolate chips.
  7. Pour mixture into greased baking dish.
  8. Sprinkle more chocolate chips on top.
  9. Bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes.
  10. If brownies are still goopy, bake for additional 5-10 minutes and let cool. The batter will thicken as it cools.
  11. Enjoy!!!

Have you ever tried black bean brownies ??

Until next time,

Happy Chewing!

Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian

Follow me one social media!

@livebetterwithkatdetter

 

 

Garlicky Spinach Dip

Who loves spinach dip?? 🙋‍♀️🙋‍♀️🙋‍♀️

What if I told you I’ve got a healthy spinach dip recipe?? Using tons of fresh spinach and garlic and instead of mayo or sour cream (like traditional spinach dip), I use nonfat Greek yogurt.

Greek yogurt is packed with protein which makes this appetizer more nutrient dense than traditional spinach dip.

For even more creaminess, I use Neufchâtel cheese. Essentially, it’s low fat cream cheese…I choose to use low fat animal products because they are lower in saturated fat. While our body needs fat, saturated fat (found in animal products) may increase total body cholesterol.

See full printable recipe details below, and be sure to tag @livebetterwithkatdetter in your creations!

Healthy Spinach Dip

  • Servings: 8 servings
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • 5 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1-8 ounce block of Neufchâtel cheese
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Additional add ins: fresh broccoli and artichokes work well in the recipe too!

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a medium sized mixing bowl, add spinach, garlic, Greek yogurt, Neufchâtel cheese, mozzarella, Parmesan, onion powder, garlic salt, and Italian seasoning.
  3. Mix well.
  4. Add to baking dish and top with more cheese.
  5. Bake at 400 degrees for one hour or until bubbly. Let dip “rest” to thicken up.
  6. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips and fresh veggies!
  7. Enjoy!

What’s your favorite type of dip?

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!

Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Connect with me on social media!

FB & Pinterest: Live Better with Kat Detter

IG: @livebetterwithkatdetter

Kale Shakshuka

You guys, I’ve been wanting to try this “shakshuka” thing for a while…

IMG-5552

Shakshuka is a traditional African dish of poached eggs in a simmering tomato sauce…however, thanks to Molly Yeh, I was inspired to try the kale shakshuka version.

 

See Molly Yeh’s original recipe here– my recipe is adapted from hers.

IMG-5548

Kale Shakshuka

  • Servings: 2 servings
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 4 cloves fresh Garlic
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 cups fresh Kale, washed & chopped
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 eggs
  • Feta Cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a cast iron skillet, add oil and saute garlic. Add kale.
  3. Allow kale to cook down. Once slightly wilted, add vegetable broth.
  4. Salt & pepper to taste.
  5. Once cooked down, make 2 wells in kale mixture and crack eggs into wells.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-20 minutes (depending on how you like the yolk)
  7. Serve with crusty bread, roasted potatoes, or any other favorite breakfast side dish.

 

Enjoy!

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian

Follow me on social media!
Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube: Live Better with Kat Detter

Instagram: @betterwithkatdetter_rd

Using Spiralized Veggies

Happy National Nutrition Month!

 

I am so excited to share tons of recipes and nutrition tips all.month.long! Starting TODAY with spiralized veggies.

Making its debut sometime in 2015, spiralized veggies were the nutrition trend when I started nutrition school. I remember helping instruct food demos at health fairs on how to make “zoodles”, or zucchini noodles, and people loved them!

Today, I am sharing some meal ideas using spiralized veggies. Conveniently, some food companies sell pre spiralized veggies in the freezer section and some grocery stores offer them fresh in the produce section.

While I do spiralize my own veggies from time to time, I also enjoy the convenience of the frozen ones AND they keep well in the freezer.

Below are some ideas for using spiralized veggies.

 

  • Homemade Zoodles with Marinara Sauce: Lightly saute zoodles and season with your favorite herbs and spices. Once cooked (about 2-5 minutes depending on fresh/frozen), add in marinara sauce and allow to simmer. Sprinkle with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese and serve! Easy and quick week night dinner!

 

  • Spiralized butternut squash in Mac & Cheese: One of my favorites, mix 1 cup of vegetable stock, 1/2 cup of milk and 1 frozen pack of spiralized butternut squash (or fresh) and simmer. Add herbs and spices of choice. Once cooked, puree mixture in a high speed blender and put back in pot. Mix in 1/2 cup of sharp cheddar cheese and cooked pasta (I like to use Banza pasta). Serve as is or put mixture in a  baking dish, sprinkle more cheese on top, and bake at 350 until bubbly and brown. Perfect for a gathering!

 

  • Carrot/Beet Chinese Noodles: Oh, what a great way to get extra veggies in! Using fresh or frozen, sautee in wok with fresh garlic, herbs and spices. Add in other veggies (such as broccoli, mushrooms, zucchini), and cook for 2-5 minutes until tender. Add in favorite Asian sauce (I like coconut aminos teriyaki sauce) and simmer. Add in cooked tofu or chicken and mix. Mix in cooked rice noodles if desired, or serve over brown rice.

 

  • Cucumber Salad: Spiralized cucumber!  I have not actually seen this in stores, but if you have a veggie spirailzer, cucumber is a great veggie to use!  Mix spiralized cucumber with oil & vinegar, herbs and spices, salt and pepper, feta cheese, grape tomatoes, and avocado pieces for a great, fresh salad!

Have you tried spiralized veggies? Let me know your favorite way to cook them!

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Follow me on social media!

Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube: Live Better with Kat Detter

Instagram: @betterwithkatdetter_rd

Staying on Track While Dining Out

Who likes going out to eat?  On a busy, chaotic day, it is so convenient to stop by your local favorite restaurant on the way home instead of slaving over a hot stove after a long day.

table in vintage restaurant
Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

 

While cooking at home may be the healthiest route because you are in complete control of what is going into your food, dining out doesn’t always have to be “bad”. It may lead to more temptation to order fries or fried chicken, but staying on track with your healthy lifestyle is totally doable while dining out.

Today I am going to share my favorite tips that I use when I go out with family, friends, or with the hubs for date night.

  1. Order something that is veggie heavy

One thing I always look for at a restaurant is something that is loaded down with veggies. In a country that is very meat-potato heavy that may be difficult. For example, I LOVE eating at Mexican restaurants, but they are limited with vegetables. You may get lucky and get some peppers or onions in your fajitas, but that’s about it. Even the “vegetarian” options are usually carb heavy, but they always have veggies in the kitchen! I typically order a spinach and cheese quesadilla, heavy on the spinach and light on the cheese.  Don’t be afraid to ask! They are generally accommodating, considering you are paying for the meal.

assorted vegetable lot
Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

Another perk to ordering something with tons of vegetables is that it improves satiety (fullness). The fuller you feel, the less likely you are to overeat. Also, vegetables are high sources of fiber which aids in digestion and improves colon health. It’s a win-win!

2. Don’t ditch the salads

I have read a lot of articles saying that salads are bad because they may contain more calories than a burger and fries…

This may be true, especially if you’re loading that sucker down with bacon bits, extra creamy dressings, and a bunch of cheese, however that doesn’t mean you should stay away from them!

There are ways you can order a salad and it still be kind to your waste-line (and organs). Opt for salads that have leafy greens like spinach, kale, arugula or baby romaine. These greens are plentiful in fiber and rich in vitamins and minerals our bodies need for different metabolic pathways. Choose lean proteins like grilled chicken or fish instead of deep fried meats. A lot of people are against the cheeses on salad…but sometimes the cheese can really bring all the salad components together, just ask them to go light on it-1 ounce of cheese goes a long way.

close up of salad in plate
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Let’s talk salad dressing…this is where the bulk of the fat and calories come from–especially with the creamy dressings like thousand island, ranch, and blue cheese. Personally, I am not a fan of mayo-filled dressings, but if that is your jam, then that is okay. Try to limit your salad to 1 tablespoon of dressing-again, a little goes a long way! If you’re looking for a healthier alternative, choose the olive oil based dressings like oil and vinegar and vinaigrette. These dressings contain omega 3 fatty acids which may improve heart health.

3. Choose nutrient-dense sides

I know…you want that burger real bad…and nothing goes better with a burger than fries, right? If I am really craving an entree that may not be the best for me, I try to choose a side that will balance my meal out. For example, if I want to order a buffalo chicken wrap from Backstreets (my fav!) then I am going to choose a side dish that is more nutrient dense. Typically that would be a side salad, steamed veggies, or mashed cauliflower (if available–and Backstreets has the BEST mashed cauli!).

food vegetables cutting board cooking
Photo by Tookapic on Pexels.com

4. Drink water for your beverage

I know I am going to sound like a broken record here! I don’t know about you, but I drink a TON when I am at restaurants because the waiter is constantly filling up my glass…if it’s there, I’m gonna drink it! Think about all the empty calories in a soda or sweet tea (hey, I’m from the South!). In 8 ounces of soda, there are about 100 calories and 24 grams of sugar…most glasses at restaurants are about 16 ounces. If you drink 2 glasses of soda at your meal you are consuming around 400 calories and 96 grams of sugar just in your beverage! We really should only be getting between 25-30 grams of added sugars daily…I realize they put ice in the cups that take up room, but this is just an illustration.

Not only is water better for your body, but it’s better for your wallet too! Water is free. I don’t know about you, but I love free stuff! Water also helps push the fiber in your meal through the digestive track making for an easier exit, if you know what I mean.

glass of water
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Dining out is an experience, and I realize it can be a special occasion for many of you–it is for me too! In those cases, I am totally a promoter of indulging…but for the average American who eats out several times a week, these tips can come in handy! While there are many tips and tricks you can do, these are the four that I utilize regularly. Hope they benefit some of you!

What are your guides for dining out? I’d love to hear some new ideas!

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

 

 

 

 

6 Tips to Choose Health Promoting Goals with Your Spouse

bobkat

Have you ever wanted to make a really colorful, nourishing recipe you found on Pinterest for you and your significant other, and then as soon as you put it on the table your spouse has a hard time choking it down? Yeah, I have been there, too. My husband and I have been married for about 2.5 years now, and we share similar health promoting behaviors, but he definitely turns his nose up to quinoa, tofu, chickpeas, avocado, and beets.

Today I am going to share some ideas on how to get your spouse involved in developing health promoting goals with you.

  1. Shop Together

Weeks get busy really fast, but if you take some time during your weekend to go grocery shopping together, it can really make a difference in what healthful meals you can both agree on. Try to make a list beforehand and while you are shopping together, ask for your significant others opinion on produce, whole grains, and proteins. Don’t buy a bag of avocados if your spouse hates them! Lesson learned: it is hard to eat a whole bag of avocados by yourself before they go rot.

  1. Purchase Plants They Like

This is one thing I do all year round! My husband is very selective when it comes to fruit and literally will not eat it unless I sit it in front of him. Fruit is one thing I like to have on hand for snacks for a mid-day energy boost. The fiber keeps me full & regular, making my body physically feel its best. For instance, Bobby likes strawberries, watermelon, and bananas. Even if they are not in season, I still buy them so he has access to fibrous foods he actually enjoys.

Luckily, it is summer time so I can get his favorite (watermelon) frequently!

  1. Cook Together

What a fun way to spend date night! It is known that if a person helps in the cooking process of a meal that they will be more likely to enjoy it. Experiment with flavors, food, and spend some quality time together in the kitchen. Put your spouse to use in washing and chopping up fresh veggies for a stir fry, or cracking eggs for a breakfast veggie omelet. Getting involved in the cooking process can also help you make sure you are cooking things you both can enjoy – a foundational part of mindful & intuitive eating!

  1. Incorporate Plants into Your Dishes

This is something we do a lot in my kitchen because sometimes you are just not in the mood for plain veggies on the side. There are many different opportunities to add plants to your meals. For example, when we make rice, I add 1 cup of riced cauliflower to 1 cup of cooked rice providing extra fiber and nutrients to the dish–and Bobby loves it! Let’s say your spouse only likes iceberg lettuce in salads. One option is to mix in some freshly chopped spinach to the iceberg to give more texture, flavor and micro-nutrients to the salad.

  1. Presentation is Key

It is so easy to get in the habit of using paper plates-it is a faster cleanup! However, food looks way better on a pretty plate! Once the food is cooked, plate the entree and sides on your fine china and garnish with your favorite herb. It will be appealing to the eye and increase meal satisfaction. To add some more pizzazz during your mealtime, light a candle and dim the lights. The ambiance with make your at-home dining experience more enjoyable.

  1. Move Together

You know that one couple in the gym that are so stinking cute that it is almost nauseating? THAT COULD BE YOU! Working out together in the gym, at the park, or even in the home can help you both physically feel your best. Do something you both can enjoy. Bobby and I go biking, hiking, and play tennis together a few times per week. Think about it: you are bonded by law to have a lifelong accountability partner. Embrace that bondage by getting sweaty together.

Challenge for the week: Choose at least one of these tips with your spouse to help one another live your best life.

Download my FREE 6 Steps to Mindful Eating guide here.

Until Next Time,


Happy Chewing!
xoxo
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN
Follow me on social media!